In everyone's mind there's a picture that stands for being a survivor. It might be a man or a woman that survived all odds at whatever confronted them, but their picture is in your mind. We all have our ups and downs in life. If your reading this, so far your a survivor.
One Wing is the picture in my mind that stands for survivor. As I've written before, One Wing is a survivor of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. After that disaster happened, Dr. James Scott's clinic Arctic Animal Hospital, was one of several in Alaska that was sent animals that were sick and injured by the oil spill.
Dr. Scott was sent the birds because of his well known love and care for them. One of the eagles, now known as One wing, had its left wing amputated due to excessive injuries. There were many other eagles to be treated because the toxins from their oiled prey had poisoned them. Only transfusions of eagle blood could give them any hope, and Dr Scott had to select one of these birds as a blood donor since there were no healthy eagles to act as a donor. Dr. Scott choose One Wing because he would never be able to fly again or be released back to the wild. His chances of surviving were very poor.
Normally blood for a transfusion can be taken from as eagle no more often than every two weeks. Now it was drawn from One Wing each day for three days in a row, followed by one day of rest. More blood was taken for several additional days in succession. One Wing should never have survived, but each morning he was still alive when the weary vet arrived to check on his charges. Gazing back quietly from his cage, this eagle was clining to life. Everyone in the clinic was amazed at One Wing's valiant fight to live; a small miracle was unfolding before them.
One Wing soon became more than another patient at the Arctic Animal Hospital. He became a rally point for all the staff and volunteers, but especially for Jim Scott. This bird defied all the odds and refused to give up. To this day, talking about the eagle is a very emotional experience for Dr. Scott. He even wrote a poem (which I'll post soon) early one morning in tribute to the eagle.
Today, One Wing and Ol' Witch (another survivor from the oil spill), his long time companion, spend their days at their mew at Bird TLC. A mew built only for them by a Boy Scout earning his Eagle rank.
I spent Saturday morning in the rain cleaning up their mew. They know me better now than when I first started volunteering at Bird TLC over four years ago, but they keep a close eye on me. They also let me know when I'm starting to get too close. People come to visit them and we're all proud to tell them their story.